7 Amazon Prime benefits for holiday shopping – CNET

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Your Amazon Prime benefits make shopping easier.

Angela Lang/CNET

The holidays are quickly approaching, but there’s still plenty of time to get your shopping done. With Black Friday right around the corner, there are already early deals on Amazon, so if you have a Prime membership, now’s a good time to take full advantage of your benefits

While you probably know you can get free two-day shipping as a Prime member, did you know you can also get packages sooner, or schedule a delivery date that’s more convenient for you? Or that you can get exclusive deals with Alexa on your Amazon Echo?

Amazon isn’t the only company with huge Black Friday sales — Best Buy, Walmart and Home Depot are also having sales events. However, Amazon’s enormous catalog, loyal subscriber base and massive shipping empire put it in a position to be extra aggressive in getting your business. Here are all the ways the Prime membership you already have — and your Amazon Echo — can help you shop today.

Read more: Holiday gift guide 2020: CNET editors’ top picks

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Schedule a convenient shipping date during checkout with Amazon Day.

James Martin/CNET

Get extra discounts by shopping with Alexa

You can use your Amazon Echo to ask “Alexa, what are my deals?” anytime. Alexa will then share Prime-exclusive deals with you and you’ll have the option to add the item to your cart, buy it now or move on to the next deal.

Schedule a convenient shipping date for your package

Everyone knows about Amazon’s free two-day shipping, but another option is to choose a delivery date during checkout. It’s called Amazon Day and it’s helpful if there’s a specific day you know someone will be at home to answer for packages — especially if it’s something pricey that you don’t want to risk sitting outside unattended. 

If you order multiple items on different days, you can have them delivered on the same day as long as they’re eligible for this offer. 

Use your Amazon Echo to help track packages

If you have an Amazon Echo of any kind, you can use it to track your orders. 

Just say “Alexa, where’s my package?” and your Echo will let you know where it is and when it’ll arrive. Once your order has been delivered, the Echo’s ring light will pulse yellow and if you have the Echo Show, the delivery notification will appear on the screen.

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Use any Amazon Echo to track your packages.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Shop Early Access deals before non-Prime members

If something you’ve been eyeing says “Prime Early Access,” as a Prime member, you can shop that sale 30 minutes before non-Prime members. However, you’ll still have to compete with other members who are also interested in the product before it sells out.

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Use Prime Now to get what you ordered in a couple of hours

If there’s a product you want same-day, you can see if it’s available in Prime Now. Amazon will deliver from morning until evening, so you won’t have to worry about receiving your order at 3 a.m. 

This way of shopping is nifty for when you really need to go to the grocery, but can’t risk losing out on that new item, like a fresh Echo device that might go on sale. Prime Now isn’t available in all locations, so enter your ZIP code at primenow.amazon.com to see if you’re eligible. Note that you’ll need to add a gratuity for delivery here, unlike with a normal Amazon Prime order.

Share your Prime perks with family

If you’ve got another adult living in your household, like a significant other or friend, you can share your Prime membership with them. You’ll still be able to keep your personal accounts separate, but you’ll both have access to all the same Prime benefits. 

You can also share your account with up to four teens and up to four children in your household. While they’ll have their own logins, you can still manage their profiles.

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Amazon employees can leave a package inside your house with Amazon Key.

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Amazon can leave your package inside your house or garage

When you know you’re not going to be home for a while and you’ve got a shipment on the way, it’s much safer to have an Amazon employee leave your items inside your house or garage to avoid theft. 

If you have the Amazon Key Home Kit or Amazon In-Garage Delivery Kit, you can request to have your expensive packages left in your home or garage for free. The Home kit itself costs $257 (currently sold out) and comes with a cloud cam and a smart lock, so you’ll be in charge of letting the delivery person in and can watch as it’s happening. The garage kit is on sale for $30 and turns your garage into a smart garage.

If you’re wary of letting a complete stranger in your home, keep in mind that you’ll also receive notifications during the entire process. Note that you can also choose to block the delivery in your home — for example, if you know you’ll be home during that time.

For more Black Friday tips for shopping this year, here are four things you need to know about Black Friday 2020 and how to send your Amazon packages back the fast, easy and free way. Also, read this before you buy a tech gift this holiday season.

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